The Evergreen Books were a series of 38 dust-jacketed paperbacks issued by Heinemann (in collaboration with Chatto & Windus) in 1940 and 1941. The series included a significant number of Chatto & Windus titles, each with a statement that the titles were published “in association with Chatto & Windus.” The Evergreen Books name was used as the publisher and imprint for the books, although Heinemann (and Chatto and Windus) often appear (WorldCat, etc.) as the publisher. Heinemann was the primary publisher.
Many paperback series were launched in the pre-WW2 era in response to the popularity of Penguin Books. In this case, two traditional publishers are attempting a modest entry into the paperback field with a series of literary fiction (and a few nonfiction) titles from their back catalogs. Both Heinemann and Chatto & Windus were subsequently (1944) part of the coalition of eight publishers behind the Guild Books, a similar series of jacketed paperbacks consisting of back catalog titles from the collaborating firms. It’s possible that the short-lived Evergreen Books series informed and inspired the Guild Books series effort.
The Evergreen Books name was later used for a long-lived series published by the Grove Press (1951-1990).
The Evergreen Book jackets shared a common design with some color variations. This copy of H.M. Tomlinson’s Gallions Reach is #2 in the series and dated 1940. The jacket spine includes the series name and series number, title, author, and 1s. price. These were cheap books. The jacket front contains a generic wreath design encircling the category (“Fiction”), title, author and series name. The front jacket flap includes a quote from a review of the book. “Evergreen Books are Books to Keep” is also included below the review. Given the cheap binding and coarse paper, these were really not books to keep. The price is included at the bottom of the front jacket flap.
The back of the dust jacket lists the first 10 titles issued in the series. The books are categorized: fiction, biography, travel, and science & belles-lettres. I don’t know if these categories were maintained as the list expanded on later dust jackets.
A list of the 38 Evergreen Books titles is below. I filled in a few missing titles from the Evergreen Books series list at the Brass Penguin site.
Evergreen Books: 1940
No. 1. Antic Hay, Aldous Huxley
*No. 2. Gallions Reach, H. M Tomlmson
*No. 3. Wonder Hero, J.B. Priestley
*No. 4. Cakes And Ale, W. Somerset Maugham
No. 5. A High Wind In Jamaica, Richard Hughes
No. 6. The Loving Spirit, Daphne Du Maurier
*No. 7. Elizabeth and Essex, Lytton Strachey, Robert Devereux Essex (introduction)
*No. 8. Forbidden Journey, Ella K. Maillart, Thomas Macgreevy (translator)
Science & Belles Lettres
No. 9. Possible Worlds, J.B.S. Haldane
*No. 10. The Woman Who Rode Away, D.H. Lawrence
*No. 11. Black Roses, Francis Brett Young
*No. 12. The Ginger Griffin, Ann Bridge
*No. 13. Action for Slander, Mary Borden
*No. 14. A Gun for Sale, Graham Greene
No. 15. None So Pretty, Margaret Emma Faith Irwin
*No. 16. Mary Lavelle, Kate O’Brien
*No. 17. Disenchantment, C.E. Montague
*No. 18. Lady into Fox and A Man in the Zoo, David Garnett
*No. 19. Present Indicative, Noel Coward
*No. 20. The Spotted Lion, Kenneth Cecil Gandar Dower
No. 21. Jesting Pilate: The Diary of a Journey, Aldous Huxley
No. 22. The Jasmine Farm, Elizabeth von Arnim
No. 23. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck; Cyril Garbett (introduction)
No. 24. The Happier Eden, B.K. Seymour
No. 25. Alone, Norman Douglas
No. 26. A Warning to Wantons: A Fantastic Romance, Mary Mitchell
No. 27. Patchwork, Beverley Nichols
No. 28. The Gentleman in the Parlour, W. Somerset Maugham
No. 29. Our Mr. Dormer, R.H. Mottram
No. 30. The Honeysuckle and the Bee, J.C. Squire
No. 31. This is My Life, Vernon Bartlett
No. 32. The Moon is Feminine, Clemence Dane
No. 33. Fathers of Their People, H.W. Freeman
No. 34. Cathedral Close, Susan Goodyear
*No. 35. Father and Son: A Study of Two Temperaments, Edmund Gosse
No. 36. Tampico, Joseph Hergesheimer
No. 37. Nymph Errant, J. Laver
No. 38. Kindness in a Corner, Theodore Francis Powys
* Published by Heinemann in association with Chatto & Windus.
The paper covers use a few graphic elements from the wreath design on the jackets. The title and author are the only information on the book covers.
The half-title page includes the series name and number of Gallions Reach.
“A list of further titles in Evergreen Books will be found on the back of the jacket” – faces the title page. The date (1940) is included on the title page. The publisher and imprint is Evergreen Books, London.
GALLIONS REACH First issued in Evergreen Books 1940. * Evergreen Books are Published by William Heinemann, Ltd. 99 Great Russel St., W.C. 1. In association with Chatto & Windus.”
“Made and Printed in Great Britain by Hazel, Watson and Viney Ltd., London and Aylesbury.”